Singaporeans will soon be able to renew their passports for 10 years at a time, instead of the current five.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on May 7 that Singapore Citizens aged 16 and above who submit a passport application from Oct. 1 will get new passports that are valid for 10 years.
"This will reduce the frequency of passport renewals, and offer greater convenience to Singaporeans," said ICA.
Passport application fee unchanged at S$70
There will be no change to the passport application fee, which will remain at $70, ICA said.
Applications can continue to be made online, via ICA's e-Service.
ICA said that applicants with no access to the Internet may visit the Citizen Connect Centres (CCCs) located at Our Tampines Hub and selected Community Centres/Clubs islandwide, where they can have free access to Internet-enabled computing devices.
Those who are unable to transact online and do not have someone who can help them, may visit ICA for assistance.
Validity for those under 16 remains at five years
Meanwhile, the validity period of the passport issued to children below 16 years old will remain at five years.
ICA said that this is because children’s facial features change more rapidly.
Thus, renewing their passport every five years will allow the photograph in their passport to be updated more frequently, which will minimise identification problems when going through immigration.
Biometric passport technology has stabilised
In its statement, ICA said that 15 years have passed since the biometric passport was introduced, and that biometrics screening technology has become widespread.
ICA said that biometric passport technology has stabilised, and that it has "greater confidence in the durability of the passport microchip".
These developments led ICA to assess that it is viable to increase the validity of the Singapore passport to 10 years without compromising security or global confidence in the Singapore passport.
It also highlighted the fact that other countries that previously issued five-year passports have moved to a 10-year passport.
Top image by Nigel Chua